Course Number: 

Death and loss are universal human experiences relevant to all areas of social work practice. Through readings, films, discussions and exercises, students will develop an understanding of the dying experience, as well as the attitudes toward and the approach to death and dying in America. Various end-of-life models of care will be presented with a focus on the medical system and the rise of hospice and palliative care. The notion of a “good death” and the impact of ethnic, cultural, religious and spiritual influences will be explored, as well as advance care planning and the overarching ethical and moral dilemmas that can arise. While the topics of grief and bereavement are not explicitly covered, time will be devoted to exploring the impact of violent and sudden deaths on victims and their families, as well as on students as individuals and future social workers. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop a self-awareness of their own values and beliefs toward dying and death, and explore strategies for self-care.